Monday, December 27, 2021

Comet Leonard Update


I've been sneaking a look at comet Leonard most evenings. There are usually lots of clouds, but i often get a peak at the comet between 7pm and 7:15. It is somewhat easy to spot in my 10x50 binoculars, if you know where to look. From Hato, it just looks like a fuzz. I can't really see the tail etc. 
I'll attach a screen shot from the free planetarium software, Stellarium, that shows where Leonard is tonight. (Dec.27) It will be in this general area for a few nights. On Bonaire; Venus, Saturn and Jupiter form a more or less vertical line. Leonard is to the left of Saturn, about halfway down an imaginary horizontal line that goes from Saturn to Alnair, on Saturn's south (left) side. Yesterday, Saturn was easy to spot, but i could just barely see Alnair with my naked eye. I'm thinking that if you can see Alnair with the naked eye, you should be able to spot Leonard with binoculars.

If you are up North, the three planets form a line that tilts more towards the left. Leonard is still halfway down a line from Saturn to Alnair, but Alnair sets at 5pm! If you look at the spacing between the planets on the chart and then in the sky, you can sort of calibrate your eye as to how far from Saturn you should look for Leonard. On Bonaire, you look more or less straight to the left. Up North you'll be looking to the lower left, down towards the horizon.




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